The thrill of inline skating drives the attention of many skaters throughout the year. Many new skaters join the pool every month in search of sheer adventure. Speed is the essence of inline skating. However, you cannot get to speed overnight. The sport requires ample patience, adequate practice, and an immense sense of discipline.
So, what are the pro tips any skater must know about inline skating? No denial that inline skating is an effective exercise and an excellent adventure sport. It requires proper training. Every skater must delegate regular hours for proper training, learn the form, understand basic techniques, practice balance, and abide by the safety rules.
Whether you skate in a skate’s park or tread your way through the boardwalks, off-skate workout sessions are as important as on-skate training to polish your skills and develop required stamina. Further, safety is extremely important. The article introduces important tips for the inline skaters [source].
Consider Inline Skating Safety Rules
Due to the immense popularity of the sport, inline skaters can be seen everywhere from residential localities to neighborhood rinks. The outdoor pathways may be shared by other people such as bicyclists, skateboarders, passersby, and joggers. Following the safety guidelines and rules of the road are important to avoid painful collisions.
In has been observed that most inline skating injuries occur when an on-speed skater loses balance and collides with an obstacle or falls on a hard surface. However, the potential injuries may be avoided or at least mitigated by wearing proper protective equipment. Most of the skaters commonly suffer an injury in the hands, knees, and arms. There may be abrasions to other parts of the body. Further skaters who do not wear a helmet may suffer a serious head injury. This makes wearing safety gear even more important.
Make it a habit of wearing your safety gear even before you wear your skates whenever you go inline skating. Skaters must abide by the following guidelines for the inline skating gear:
- Wear a Helmet. This is the most important component of your safety equipment. Use a quality helmet specifically designed for inline skating every time you skate. Occasional skaters who skate for fun often use a bicycle helmet. However, if you are a regular skater or use your skates to get around, it is essential to invest in a good quality helmet.
The helmets designed for the sport differ from a regular helmet and are a little lower towards the base to support the skull. These helmets provide maximum protection in case of a backward fall. Make sure that your helmet meets all safety standards expected for inline skating and fits your head properly. Do not buy a helmet that is too large or too loose to come off during the fall. Always fasten the chin straps snugly under the chin to ensure that the helmet does not move around while skating.
- Get a comfortable pair of skates. Your skates should be comfortable but sturdy with proper ankle support. You can check your skates be examining the boots. They must not be too soft and easy to squeeze. Get a pair of skates that match your skill set and potential needs. You may need a different pair of boots to roll down the boardwalk than what you need to compete in events.
Make sure that your skates fit properly and the wheels or the brakes are in good shape. Try and tightly secure your boots to check the fitting while skating. You should not wear skates with misshapen or worn out wheels. Replace them right away. Make certain that the buckles are working. Remember to buckle up your skates before every skating session.
- Wear protective pads. They serve as a protective cushion for the bones against common potential injuries such as scrapes, cuts, and sprained or broken wrists. You should wear protective pads for knees, elbows, and wrists whenever you skate. These pads often have a cushioned interior enclosed within a hard-plastic shell, which provides proper protection against injuries. Further, wrist guards hold the wrist securely in place when you fall. Make sure that your pads fit properly. Securely fasten them every time you skate.
- Your protective gear kit must also include other gear such as gloves and mouthguards. It is advisable to long-sleeved shirts and long pants underneath the pads for extra protection against potential injuries. A pair of light gloves protect your fingers from abrasion. A fitted mouthguard protects your jaw during a fall or sudden collision.
Ensure Safe Skating Outdoors
The place of skating is as important as the safety gear in preventing potential injuries [source]. Choosing the right place for skating is even more essential for beginners or first-time skaters. Try to select an area free of people or obstacles when you begin your skating lessons. You can polish your skills as a beginner in empty parking lots, smooth abandoned pavements, unused tennis courts or similar recreational trails. Make sure that the area has a patch of grass beside it. This may provide you a soft spot to fall.
Once you master the basic skills, you can approach the advanced tricks. You can head towards indoor or outdoor skating rinks, which are generally kept clean and devoid of debris or obstacles. You may find peer skaters at the rink, but the crowd and flow of traffic are monitored and controlled. The rinks may help you learn skating around other people before you hit crowded pavements.
Skate parks are equally good for novice skaters as well as for advanced experts. You should honestly consider your skill levels. Do not try advanced tricks or run down a ramp until you are proficient and comfortable with the basic skills. It is advisable for beginners to use recreational trails and avoid sidewalks or roads. Again, do not skate in traffic if you have to use roadways. Be courteous to your peer movers such as pedestrians and bicyclists. Follow the trail and abide by the traffic rules. Always use crosswalks for moving across the streets.
Stay watchful for potholes, cracks, or any other obstacles in your pathway when skating outdoors. Make sure that the area is dry and devoid of debris, wet leaves, ice, or oily patches. Do not skate at night and avoid skating at dusk. These are the times of the day when visibility is less and it is difficult to see and evaluate potential hazards. Do not skate in rains or snow. At that time the surface becomes slippery thereby increasing the chances of toppling over and getting hurt.
Stay attentive and avoid distractions. Do not wear earbuds or headphones while skating outdoors. Be aware of your surroundings. Carry a few essentials such as a cellphone, an identity proof, and a whistle to attract attention when you get hurt. Keep towards the right of the trail. Alert passersby beforehand if they come in your way. It is a good idea to wear sunscreen while skating outdoors. Avoid the temptation of towing behind a car or any other vehicle. You may suffer serious injuries with such daring acts.
Learn Your Lessons Well Before Moving Outdoors
You may reduce the likelihood of getting injured and may have more fun while skating if you correctly learn the tactics and tricks. Take your lessons from a trained instructor, who holds enough experience in the arena of inline skating. Learn how to tread, stop, and maintain balance. Practice turns, try to control your speed, and master stopping tactics.
Always skate with your head up. Retain the stance. Stay watchful for obstacles, people, or other potential hazards. It is also a good idea to practice a fall because you cannot completely avoid it as a beginner. Practice falling on grass or any other smooth surface like a gym mat. It will prepare you for a real fall.
Remember to warm up before you head out. You can try simple stretches or a gentle 5-minute on-skate workout. Some off-skate exercises also provide a pleasant warm-up. Double-check to ensure that you have the necessary safety gear before you hit the rink. Wear your gear properly. Tightly fasten the chin strap of your helmet. Know your limits before you plan to skate on a trail. Estimate time and inform a friend or a family member about your whereabouts and the estimated time of return.
Familiarize with your Surroundings While Skating
Stay conscious of your surroundings whenever you skate. Stay watchful for other skaters, joggers, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Give them enough space to avoid collisions. Practice good etiquette for skating in a skate’s park. Make sure that the area is clear before you take a turn. Stay on the right side of the sidewalks, bike paths, and trails. Pass another person on the left. Yell out to alert them about your coming forward. Only pass when there is enough room for both of you and you find it safe.
Stay watchful for changing conditions such as weather or other factors. Recalculate and reevaluate your path as you move forward. You may find a smooth pavement but it may not stay the same a hundred yards ahead. Slow down beforehand if you anticipate approaching an area that is wet, oily, potholed, bumpy, or cracked.
Keep your headphones off. Listening to music at the time of skating makes it difficult to hear the voices of the road such as approaching traffic, yelling pedestrians, or moving peer skaters. It is a good idea to skate with friends. It makes skating more fun and you can look out for help in case of an emergency.
Do not chase vehicles. Stay in control. Take the owner’s permission before skating on private property or restricted land. Be courteous and polite to everyone on the road and avoid confrontations.
Invest in Quality Skates
You may find different types of inline skates in the market, which may differ in model, make, and design. Further, it is important that your skates match your skill level and other inline skating preferences. Apply the following tips to get the best first pair of inline skates [source]:
- Research before making a purchase. Learn about the brands, models, and styles available in the market. Compare the price and features with your required budget and skills. Learn the functions of notable parts of your skates. Familiarize yourself with the acronyms to avoid any confusion at the time of purchase.
- Know your skill level and skating type. Determine your skating preferences. Whether you plan to take up skating as a hobby or desire to take it to a pro-level. Do you plan to participate in a competition or want to take up skating as an exercise? Do you want to use skates for commuting? Different types of skates fulfill separate requirements. For example, multi-purpose recreational skates are good for common to advanced skating tricks. You can use them indoors and outdoors. However, you may need a pair of advanced hockey boots to skate in a rink or compete in indoor hockey to handle the intensity and shock of the sport. Again, you may require 5-wheel skates for speed skating to compensate for the intensity and ensure a perfect fit.
- Plan your budget. The most expensive pair of skates are not always the best buy. Setting up a budget will help you look for economically better options that meet your skill level and save you from overspending. Also, accommodate the price of your safety gear while making a budget for the skates. Remember to buy essentials such as a helmet, wrist guards, elbow and knee pads along with your skates.
- Measure your size correctly. Very often, skaters pick a skate size larger than their shoe size. Ideally, you should try half sizes to find a perfect fit. Make sure the skates do not clasp your feet or stay loose. Some brands design skates according to actual shoe size. Make certain that the pair of boots fits comfortably and provides proper support to the ankles. Try your skates with a pair of socks to prevent blisters or other complications.
- Always try on your skates and glide before finalizing a purchase. Check all screws are set. Return or replace your skates if they are not comfortable or pose a problem while gliding.
Suggest some exercises to help me make a transition from a rookie to a skilled beginner. Following techniques will help you get the full potential from your skates:
- Get rolling – Try the right leg stand to improve balance and control. Mastering this trick will help you stay long on your skates and make a better stride.
- Full stop – Master various braking techniques. You can come to halt using various tricks in skating. Practicing braking techniques makes you comfortable with your braking pad. Try techniques like a T-stop. Follow the instructions correctly and maintain the stance.
Why are the edges important in the inline skates? You use the edges of your skates to perform different skating techniques. Edges refer to the inner and outer sides of your skate wheels. You put your weight differently on the edges to make circles or take turns. For example, you take a crossover turn by using the outside and inside edges of your skates.